Happy Birthday Dracula!

8 Nov

Okay, I know that technically it is not Dracula’s birhday, but his creator’s. Actually do vampires even celebrate birthdays, they’re living dead after all right? (Does that mean they never get birthday cake? How sad, no wonder they want a bit of your warm blood. Or maybe all the vampire kiddos have black pudding for pudding on their birhday, who knows.)

But since I missed out on all the Halloween haunting in the blogworld, passing Bram Stoker’s birthday without a nod would have been a disgrace. I mean, this is the man who began the vampire craze, who gave inspiration to such things as Twilight… thank him for that or slap him, matters of taste are debatable.

Anyway, let’s get some guests to this birthday party. H.P Lovecraft should certainly be invited, his stuff is so scary even Stoker might turn in his grave in an attempt to escape. Shall we hear some of it?

 

If this didn’t get you scared enough, for extra chill factor someone can be positioned behind you and then attack you during the ending climax. (Thanks brother!)

There is a few reasons I have come to love Lovecraft. Firstly, his stories are different from the horror conventions of today that seem to penetrate especially some of the blockbusters; they are not gory, they’re not full of blood and guts and flying heads, they’re not spiced up with serial killing rampage. Instead, they can appear very pedantic at times, like the beginning of  The Rats In The Walls when you get the family history of the main character and all the dates. And yet, even if they’re full of detail, they still possess that ambiguity, that abstract feeling, that primal feeling of fear. And not only a fear towards what’s going on in the story, but a more vague fear, the fear of unknown dogging us. It is deliciously psychological, the details making his work scarily believable and realistic while the lack of rationality, the lack of any justification as why such monstrosities leap forward, stays with us long after we finish reading. It is this combination that makes the fear feel so real, that pulls you into the story, strangles you, as you feel it closing in on you claustrophobically.

Another reason I love Lovecraft is the love he has for his craft.

Sorry I just had to, the guy has a funny name. But it is true;  I admire how he manages to capture emotions with his writing. When I read and write, I’m always interested in the lexical choices because I would like to find a way to not only describe emotions, but to relate them, in all their essence and abstract qualities. Anyone who has felt something big, something all-encompassing and overwhelming inside them knows that it can be really hard to find words for that something. How do we convey all the tiny nuances we feel? How do make sure that when we’re writing them down, we are not doing just that: writing them down, reducing them, shrinking them? How do you find fitting words?

We have all struggled with these questions, whether it is because we love to write or because we’ve been in a perplexing social situation. Or because we have experienced something massive, something so very unexplainable, like the loss of a loved one or the finding of one. Something that makes us wonder the hows and whys of this world. So, if emotions are individuals, how do we find a way to convey them to a greater audience?

Lovecraft seemed to know how.  When I read his work I find myself asking: How, how does he make these emotions, these scary visions so real to us? So tangible, so breathing?

Perhaps because they were so very real to him. He had first hand experience from his night terrors.  And who is to say that the things he witnessed are not as real as the sun on the sky and the ground under our feet? Isn’t perception as debatable as taste?  There is more… Is there more?

Listen to ( or read if you prefer) From Beyond and decide.

“What do we know,” he had said, “of the world and the universe about us? Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the
boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have. I have always believed that such strange, inaccessible worlds exist at our very elbows, and now I believe I have found a way to break dawn the barriers.”

 

 

And now, your turn, who else should be invited to this birthday party and why? Whose writing do you admire?

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3 Responses to “Happy Birthday Dracula!”

  1. Con November 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Such a brilliant post! When I’m finished gushing about Lovecraft love, I’ll say Roald Dahl; while his kids stuff is fantastic, his adult short stories are so brillliantly macabre and twisted- and the twist in the tale is always a killer.

    • daydreamdaisies November 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      Thank you! And Mr Dahl shall most certainly be invited over too, I did not actually know he has done such interesting adult short stories! I love the kids stuff so I bet he will get my heart racing with his adult pieces too, huge thanks for the reading tip!

      • Con November 12, 2012 at 10:01 am #

        You’re welcome, fun reading times are ahead!! 🙂

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